“That Should Be a Word”: New Book By Lizzie Skurnick

Lizzie Skurnick enjoys making up new words—her popular column “That Should Be a Word” in the New York Times Magazine is proof. Now there’s a book, That Should Be a Word: A Language Lover’s Guide to Choregasms, Povertunity, Brattling, and 250 Other Much-Needed Terms for the Modern World that’s “a compendium of 244 of Skurnick’s wittiest wordplays—more than half of them new—arranged in ingenious diagrams detailing their interrelationships.”

Jen Pinkowski, Mental Floss: “They’re witty, hilarious, and—crucially—super useful.”

Below are examples of Skurnick’s work pertinent to Minding Therapy. As I don’t have access to the new book, they’re taken from various sources—including the publisher’s description, Pinterest, and Skurnick’s website:

  • Fidgital—excessively checking one’s devices.
  • Martyrmony—staying married out of duty.
  • Carbiter—one who asserts that someone else cannot be hungry.
  • Brattle—to discuss one’s children at great length.
  • Bangst-the profound financial anxiety of a post-recession society.
  • Flagony—guilt over an unanswered email.
  • Personallergy—an individual who derives their sense of self from a health condition.
  • Dronanist—person who likes to hear himself talk.
  • Flipocrite—one who openly justifies doing what one can’t abide in others.
  • Wordition—being stuck around a person who won’t stop talking.
  • Palbatross—the disliked friend of a friend.
  • Prepidatiousoverreadiness in the face of anxiety.
  • Shoverdose—to binge-watch a TV series.
  • Flabsolution—self-forgiveness for weight gain.
  • Chumbrage—irritation on a friend’s behalf.
  • Saddict—one who thrives on misery.
  • Duncertainunsure if one has completed a task.

And, finally, a reader’s (“stern200”) submission to Skurnick’s column in 2012:  PSYCHOLOGUST advice from therapists that’s a lot of hot air.

More book info can be found at the That Should Be a Word website.

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